Friday, April 21, 2017


Today is "Kindergarten Day" in honor of Friedrich Froebel who started the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Kindergarten originated to help children adapt to learning and social interactions in a fun way. Froebel believed in self-directed play, singing, dancing, blocks…a “garden” where children could grow! He’d probably roll over in his grave now if he saw what was going on!!

As I write this I am remembering my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Myers. I LOVED her! I mean, I worshipped her! She was a fairy godmother and the center of my world. She seemed ancient to me at the time, but I’m probably way older now than she was when she taught me. Thank goodness for hair dye and make up!!!

Do you see me?  I'm in the center front with the dress my 
mother made me for my first day of kindergarten.

I remember playing “The Farmer in the Dell” and other circle games. I also remember the finger play “Here are grandma’s glasses…” We had sugar cookies with a hole in the middle that we would put on our finger as we ate and we also had orange kool-aid. (Oh, my goodness! The sugar police would get Mrs. Myers for sure!!!) My favorite activity was painting. I especially liked to paint princesses. Back in those days the only princess I knew about was Cinderella, but I longed to be like her. One day as I was at the easel I painted a stripe down my leg. It looked so good I painted another…and another…and another…until my legs had beautiful stripes all over them. Mrs. Myers could have squelched my creativity right then and there, but she just laughed and said, “Don’t do it again.”

Another memory I have is learning to tie my shoes. I wore corrective saddle oxfords I feared would come untied at school and then what would I do? Everyone would know that I couldn’t tie shoes!!! Well, one day they came untied and Mrs. Myers said, “You’re a smart girl. Now, you just sit down and figure it out.” And you know what? I did!!!! She knew when to coddle and when to push.

And incredible as it may seem, although all I did was PLAY in kindergarten I can actually read and write now!!  I imagine most of the adults running our country, writing curriculum, and running schools actually PLAYED when they were in kindergarten and look at them now.  It would be interesting to ask those who preach "rigor" and "instructional time" and "high test scores" what they remember about being in kindergarten.

We have to remember that we will all grow up one day and sit in front of a computer, but we have one chance in a lifetime to be in kindergarten and hold hands, sing, dance, and PLAY! So shut your door today and "play kindergarten"!
My "kinderoos" in the 1980's.  
I'd love to know where they are now.

If you missed my Facebook Live yesterday here's a link: